[Smt-talk] Aural skills supplement

Stephen Jablonsky jablonsky at optimum.net
Fri Mar 12 06:01:53 PST 2010

One afternoon, several years ago, I was sitting at the piano in my classroom playing a dictation over and over for my students when it suddenly dawned on me (after 40 years of teaching) that I was wasting my time and theirs by doing dictation each week in class. I went home that night and started to compose a set of melodic and harmonic dictations for each of the four levels of our Musicianship sequence. Now, each week I email my students a new assignment. They work on the challenge at home and return it to me by email as a PDF file derived from a notation program such as Finale or Sibelius. Thus, I am able to correct their work immediately and redirect them to problem areas. I have found that, along with the dictation instruction I do in class, the sixteen assignments each semester allow the students to work at their own pace in a real life environment. The students are all required to purchase MacGamut and are expected to be progressing through that program on their own as a way to prepare for the diagnostic challenges I email them.

On Mar 12, 2010, at 12:58 AM, Matthew Schildt wrote:

> Dear collective wisdom,
> I currently teach the complete Aural Skills sequence at Adams State
> College and am struggling deciding how to supplement the final Aural
> Skills course. The first 5 weeks of the course covers linear/extended
> tertian harmonies and expanded tonicization, while the remaining 10 weeks
> covers melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic practices of the 20th century. 20th
> century topics include modal, whole-tone, and octatonic melodic dictations
> and quartal, quintal, and polychordal harmonic progressions. The program
> MacGamut has been a great tool for the preceding Aural Skills courses, but
> is of little use for the above mentioned topics. Does anyone know of an
> ear training program that effectively covers these topics? Has anyone
> found success creating a supplemental Aural Skills listening CD? I am
> hoping that later versions of MacGamut incorporate, at the very least,
> modal melodic dictations and harmonic progressions with chords such as the
> V+, V9, and ct7. This course meets only twice per week (as is usually the
> case) and out of class practice will likely be very beneficial. I look
> forward to hearing recommendations.
> Thanks,
> Dr. Matthew Schildt
> Assistant Professor of Music
> Adams State College
> Alamosa, CO 81102
> (719)587-7606
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Prof. Stephen Jablonsky, Ph.D.
Music Department Chair
The City College of New York
160 Convent Avenue S-72
New York NY 10031
(212) 650-7663

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